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Chef Christian Petroni Live on CTbites Hot Dish Podcast

Features Podcast Celebrity Chef Food Network

Stephanie Webster

Beb! It’s the CTbites’ Hot Dish Podcast Episode you’ve all been waiting for. This week we sit down with Next Food Network Star, Chef Christian Petroni…of yeah…he also owns Fortina Pizza (all 5 locations). Petroni gabs about his summers in Italy, growing up in the Bronx, how he “learned” to cook, and the epic importance of cheesy garlic bread. Join us chez Webster, and have a listen here.


8 Connecticut Brewfests for Spring/Summer 2019

Features Beer CT Beer Festival Events

James Gribbon

Flowers aren't the only things to start popping up this spring, as brewfest season follows the sun into outdoor spaces all over Connecticut. Below is a short list of several notable events from around the state, from the eastern shore, all the way down into lower Fairfield County. Take a look, and start planning early. 

Black Hog Suds & Curds 

On Saturday, April 27th, the owners of Black Hog Brewing and Caseus bring 10 of the finest cheese makers in New England, plus 18 breweries, to their location at 115 Hurley Rd. in Oxford. Tickets include a glass and sample pours throughout the day, plus cheese samples and beer and cheese to-go.

Brewfest At The Beach

Ocean Beach Park in New London is the setting for the 2019 Brewfest At The Beach, featuring over 150 beers on tap, live music, "brew friendly food," and a wine tasting all included with the price of admission. The brews and views are available to you after work from 6-9pm on Friday, May 10th, and proceeds benefit Camp Rotary. 


SONO 1420, Small Batch Distillery Featuring Hemp Distilled Spirits, Opens in South Norwalk

Features Ingredients Openings South Norwalk SONO Distillery Cocktails Spirits Homepage

Kristin L. Wolfe

It was a vote of 14 to 20.

One hundred years ago in 1919 Connecticut State Senate couldn’t ratify the 18th Amendment which made Connecticut one of two states at the time to defeat prohibition. 

It was a real moment in history, and now a real moment for SONO 1420, the revolutionary new distillery making waves in the world of spirits. As far as everyone knows, they are THE only distillery around using hemp seed in its remarkable mash for whiskey as well as other parts of the plant for its flavorful and aromatic essence in gins, bourbons, and ryes.


Nibble: Delicious CT Food Events for Week of April 22-29

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Spiga Restaurant Group is hosting its own “Spiga Restaurant Group Week” from April 22-25.  They are celebrating spring with a 4-day restaurant week event featuring 3-course lunch and dinner prix fixe menus. The Spiga family includes Molto in Fairfield, Spiga in New Canaan & Lugano’s in Greenwich. Lunch $20.19, Dinner $30.19.

On Tuesday April 23, Union Kitchen presents a 4 course dinner featuring WhistlePig Rye Whiskey.  Tickets are $80.00 per person plus tax and gratuity and may be purchased online at UnionKitchen-ct.com/Events.

Pearl at Longshore Restaurant and Bar is excited to announce Gatsby’s Return 2019. This year’s event will be on Saturday, April 27 at 7pm. It will be a special evening of music, fashion, dancing, food and drink that captures the essence of the roaring 20’s for the Westport and Fairfield County citizens to share and enjoy. Westport Historical Society and Harbor Watch will be the event’s fundraising beneficiaries. 

On Thursday April 25, Thimble Island Brewing and Calabro Cheese are teaming up to give you a night filled with delicious beer paired with artisan cheese selections, all locally made in Connecticut. Five varieties of beer and cheese will be sampled along with pairing tips from our experts. 


Fairfield Cheese Company Celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary w/ A Cheesefest!

Features Events Cheese

Stephanie Webster

Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, co-owners of the popular Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company shops, reflect upon their 10-year journey in the cheese biz, their accomplishments, and how far consumers have come in their appreciation for delectable fromage. They will also be celebrating with some great cheese-centric classes in early May. Check ‘em out here.


Hartford Flavor Company: Uniquely Delicious Botanical Liqueurs

Features Ingredients Liqueur Cocktails Ingredients Hartford Specialty Market

Kristin L. Wolfe

It’s herbal, it’s floral, it’s natural, Oh MY. It’s botanical liqueur.

Walking into Hartford Flavor Company is like walking into a place where all’s right with the world: it’s owned and operated by a smart woman, everything is natural, and it is as beautiful as a field of flowers should be. 

Or, it’s like a laboratory-meets day spa-meets fully-stocked bar. Take your pick.

Anyway, I think you are getting my point. It is downright lovely and essential and all you think while touring around and talking to owner Lelaneia Dubay is, where have you been all my life?


BD Provisions: Gourmet Bulk Food Shopping That’s Really "Out of the Box"

Features Ingredients Shopping Specialty Market Grocery Store Newtown Ingredients Coffee

Jessica Ryan

Bulk shopping isn’t exactly a new concept – we’ve been filling the trunks of our cars and SUVs with oversized products from those mammoth box stores for years. But bulk shopping that’s zero waste is something we don’t often see. BD Provisions, in Newtown, takes this familiar concept and gives it a breath of fresh air with a new, environmentally friendly spin. 

Less is more, especially here. Less waste means more product which means greater savings and more fun, but you really need to head over to experience it yourself. 

At BD Provisions you’ll find 270 carefully curated products sold by the pound in massive sustainable containers. Products range from dehydrated and powdered superfoods. You won’t want to pass by the creative, flavored rice, quinoa and soup blends that will enhance any weeknight dinner. Of course there are plenty of healthy snack options from the most beautifully colored wasabi coated soybeans, beautiful and delicious dried, crunchy beets, spicy chick peas, a wide selection of nuts both raw and flavored. Gorgeous beans and pastas. Beautiful aromatic spices, a generous selection of the most beautiful tea blends. 


50+ Restaurants & Events for Easter in CT 2019

Features Holiday Homepage

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Easter in Sunday April 21 and Connecticut restaurants are celebrating with prix fixe menus, spring inspired entrees, brunch buffets, and traditional dinners.  If you’re planning to eat out and haven’t made a reservation yet, you’ll want to hop to it… these meals fill up quickly!  Here are 50+ restaurants with Easter specials so you can dine out with some-bunny special.

  1. Community Table, Washington: Chef Paul Pearson has created a special Easter menu to celebrate the holiday and the beginning of spring at Community Table in Washington. Join them on Sunday April 21.

  2. Artisan, Fairfield & Hartford: On Easter Sunday, Artisan, with locations in Southport and Hartford, will serve a 3 course meal for $65 per person. Reservations are required and can be made at artisansouthport.com.

  3. Millwright’s, Simsbury: Millwrights will offer a 3 course Easter Brunch Prix Fixe meal, which will cost $59 for adults $29 for children under 12. Entrees include Lobster Cake Benedict, Ham, Spring Lamb, Gnocchi, and more.

  4. Hub and Spoke, Bridgeport: On Saturday April 20, Hub & Spoke hosts Easter breakfast with the Easter Bunny! This special event lasts from 9am-12pm.


Smokin' Hops Brewfest by Bears Restaurant Group April 20th

Features Festival CT Beer

Stephanie Webster

On April 20, visit Hartford for the Smokin' Hops Brewfest 2019, presented by Bear’s Restaurant Group .  A ticket includes a Smokin’ Hops Brewfest Commemorative Tasting glass, tasting of 40+ beers from 12 local breweries, tasting of an exclusive small batch beer brewed for the festival by Alvarium Beer Co., and live music by Hartford’s own, Boo-Yah. Buy tickets here. The event benefits Knox, Inc, a community-building organization that plants 500- 1,000 trees each year, maintains 20 community gardens, supports 6 urban farmers, trains young adults in landscaping, provides environmental education, and beautifies Hartford’s parks and green spaces.


Ratatouille & Co. Caterers Provides Skill Sets & Menu of Opportunity For Immigrant Women

Features Catering Entertaining

CTbites Team

Orchestrating stylish and sophisticated catered events throughout Fairfield County and New York that incorporate great food and thoughtful service is what has earned Ratatouille & Co. Catering their great reputation. The mission of this innovative catering company, however, goes beyond canapes and silver trays. Ratatouille and Company use the power of the culinary arts and the hospitality industry to empower women to learn a skill set they can use on their road to independence and success.


Mystic Market Opens in Westport w/ Gourmet, Ready To Go Prepared Meals

Features Specialty Market Westport To-Go Take Out Prepared Food Homepage

Jessica Ryan

With successful locations in Old Saybrook, Mystic and Noank, Mystic Market traveled down the coast to Fairfield County and recently opened its doors in Westport on Charles Street, not too far from the train station. The spacious interior features reclaimed lumber, steel and white subway tile which give it an airy, modern urban vibe. The eatery specializes in gourmet, ready to go pre-prepared meals all which are made in-house. For those preferring not to eat on the road, a generously sized café space offers a welcoming environment to for friends to meet up for a cup of coffee and a delicious, warm, freshly baked sweet treat. 


Nibble: Delicious & Boozy CT Food Events for April 7-14

Features Events News

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

Join Chopped Champion and Co-Founder of The Secret Ingredient Girls, Silvia Baldini, on April 10 at The Perfect Provenance to invigorate your meals in this 3 part course. Boost your kitchen skills and gain an instant repertoire of wholesome, fresh and delicious back to basics meals that are perfect for family and weekend. 

At Copps Island Oysters, learn how to shuck an oyster from the masters themselves!  You'll learn about shucking safety, different knives to use, oyster anatomy, shucking techniques, pea crabs, and some delicious easy recipes.  Join them on Saturdays from 2-4pm.  

Stew Leonard’s in Danbury hosts its 16th Annual Egg-Stravaganza on April 11.  Children will be given a map of Stew Leonard’s and a bag to collect eggs. Stew Leonard’s famous costumed characters – including Clover the Cow, Cynthia Chick, and Daphne Duck – will be available to take pictures with children at the end of the Egg Hunt. Two lucky children will win the Egg Hunt’s grand prizes: a $50 gift card to the LEGO Store or a $50 gift card to Pottery Factory. 


Stew Leonard's Celebrates 50 Years with Special Events, Deals & Storewide Fun

Features Events

Stephanie Webster

Starting on April 3, family owned and operated Stew Leonard’s marks its 50th anniversary with a calendar of events designed to celebrate with the store’s shoppers, Team Members, and local farmers.  The celebration will culminate on November 30, 2019 with a party honoring the store’s golden anniversary as well as the 90th birthday of store founder Stew Leonard, Sr.

Every month from April through November, customers will enjoy special pricing, in-store demos and more while Team Members and vendors will be spotlighted and thanked for their contributions to making Stew Leonard’s a fun and fresh place to shop for 50 years.


Beer... It's Not Just For Beer Drinkers Anymore: Meet The Brut IPA

Features Friday Froth Beer CT Beer

James Gribbon

Beer: it's not just for beer drinkers anymore. Seriously. New or casual drinkers can steer themselves safely away from anything resembling what would have been considered an actual beer even five or six years ago, and still be paralyzed with overwhelming options. Wine drinker? There's a chance I've already converted you through the deft application of a gose made with grapes, or a raspberry lambic. Are most beers too: bland/malty/hoppy/bitter, or sour for you? No problem! Because brewers can load your pint with so much lactose they call it a milkshake, and you can drink actual donuts. That's between you and your pancreas.

Brut IPAs - the actual champagne of beers -  are a very new, entirely American style. They're sweet and dry, beginning to show up all over the place, and I thought this week I'd do an explainer and review a few brewers' early efforts. Drinkers of the bubbly, drinkers of the murky, and Connecticut craft beer fans in general: you may just be about to have a new summer fling.


Recipe: Zaragoza's Mixologist, Christine Short, Makes A Bobby Burns Cocktail

Features Recipe Recipe Video Recipe Cocktails Education

Kristin L. Wolfe

Here's Christine Short from Zaragoza's in New Milford giving us a very smooth and silky Scotch Cocktail called the "Bobby Burns." This special drink is named after beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns, who is most notable for the poem which now makes up the lyrics for our favorite New Year's ditty, Auld Lang Syne. Short was recently a finalist for the CRAZIES Awards as Best Bartender in Connecticut, sponsored by the Connecticut Restaurant Association. and just one of five nominated in the state. Cheers!


A Lesson In Sustainable Seafood: Rowayton Seafood & Copps Island Oysters

Features Seafood Sustainable Norwalk Events Rowayton Local Farm Local Artisan

Jessica Ryan

Last week I had the privilege of attending a truly wonderful and informative dinner at Wakeman Town Farm on the importance of sustainable seafood. We first heard from Norm Bloom of Copp’s Island Oysters, followed by Kevin Conroy, owner of The Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood and the Rowayton Seafood Fish Market. He was joined by Chef Charles Hoffman the restaurant’s executive chef who prepared a most memorable meal. 

The Blooms have been in the oyster business since the 1940s and currently operate one of the last standing traditional oyster farms in the United States. Norm Bloom and Son is a fourth generation family-owned farm that prides itself on high quality, consistent and sustainable products. They have a fleet of 15 boats and their dedicated crew harvests oysters and clams year round from the deep, cold, and nutrient-rich waters along the coast of Connecticut.


Nibble: Tasty CT Food Events For Week of March 31-April 7

Features News Events

Emma Jane-Doody Stetson

On Monday April 1, Amis Trattoria in Westport hosts a Wine Dinner with French Winery Domaine Chante Cigale. Guests will get the chance to meet the vineyards winemaker, Jean Yves, while enjoying a 4-course meal created by Culinary Director, Brad Spence, paired with wines and homemade limoncello crafted by the Amis team.

Oyster Club in Mystic invites you to a Panel Discussion entitled “Women's Work: In the Field” on Tuesday, April 2 from 6-7:30pm.  Join them and celebrate remarkable women who are growing and producing food in our region. Enjoy a farm-inspired cocktail and sample tastes from the land and the sea from women growers and chefs.

On April 4, Artisan West Hartford will be joined by Edrington Whiskey Representative Jeremy Fonicello for an evening of Macallan Whiskey.  Dishes include Hazelnut Crusted Rack of Lamb, Whisky Flambe Maryland Rock Shrimp, Molten Lava Cake, and more.  The event starts at 6:30 and tickets are $100 per person. 

Flinders Lane Kitchen & Bar will be hosting 'Symphony Uncorked' in collaboration with the Stamford Symphony Orchestra on April 3rd, from 6.30 - 9..30. Musicians will play two pieces of music whilst we pour Australian wines from smaller, boutique producers.


NEW CTbites Hot Dish Podcast: Chefs Bill Taibe & Dan Kardos

Features Interview Chef Talk Interview Podcast

Stephanie Webster

Two of CT's leading chefs, and long time colleagues, Bill Taibe & Dan Kardos, discuss what it takes to stay at the top of their game. Host Marysol Castro explores what it takes to maintain their sanity, life in the kitchen, how social media has changed the restaurant business, and what they want their guests to know when they dine at their restaurants. Listen here!


Guide To Kids Cooking Camps & Classes in Connecticut for 2019

Features Cooking Cooking Classes kids cooking party Kids kids activity Summer Camp

April Guilbault

Hot summer days and you don’t feel like cooking. The stove, oven, even the grill…it’s all so hot. But hold on a minute there, maybe *you* don’t have to! With a little foresight (read: now), your kids can learn to cook this summer, get inspired and whoa-oh, looks who’s not in the kitchen anymore?! Beyond your parental joy, though, kids will enjoy learning cooking skills, whipping up some pretty cool menus from around the globe and even having a cooking competition or two just to test their mettle. Just be sure to sign up your aspiring chefs soon, these classes and camps fill up quicker than hot grease will jump out of a pan!